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TITLE 43TRANSPORTATION
PART 10TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 215MOTOR VEHICLE DISTRIBUTION
SUBCHAPTER EGENERAL DISTINGUISHING NUMBERS
RULE §215.140Established and Permanent Place of Business

A dealer must meet the following requirements at each licensed location and maintain the requirements during the term of the license. If multiple dealers are licensed at a location, each dealer must maintain the following requirements during the entire term of the license.

  (1) Business hours for retail dealers.

    (A) A retail dealer's office shall be open at least four days per week for at least four consecutive hours per day.

    (B) The retail dealer's business hours for each day of the week must be posted at the main entrance of the retail dealer's office that is accessible to the public. The owner or a bona fide employee of the retail dealer shall be at the retail dealer's licensed location during the posted business hours for the purposes of buying, selling, exchanging, or leasing vehicles. If the owner or a bona fide employee is not available to conduct business during the retail dealer's posted business hours due to special circumstances or emergencies, a separate sign must be posted indicating the date and time the retail dealer will resume operations. Regardless of the retail dealer's business hours, the retail dealer's telephone must be answered from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays by a bona fide employee, answering service, or answering machine.

  (2) Business hours for wholesale motor vehicle dealers. A dealer that holds only a wholesale motor vehicle dealer's license must post its business hours at the main entrance of the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's office. A wholesale motor vehicle dealer shall be at the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's licensed location at least two weekdays per week for at least two consecutive hours per day. Regardless of the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's business hours, the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's telephone must be answered from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays by a bona fide employee, answering service, or answering machine.

  (3) Business sign requirements for retail dealers. A retail dealer must display a conspicuous, permanent sign with letters at least six inches in height showing the retail dealer's business name or assumed name substantially similar to the name reflected on the retail dealer's license under which the retail dealer conducts business. The sign must be permanently mounted at the address listed on the application for the retail dealer's license. A retail dealer may use a temporary sign or banner if that retail dealer can show proof that a sign that meets the requirements of this paragraph has been ordered.

  (4) Business sign requirements for wholesale motor vehicle dealers. A wholesale motor vehicle dealer must display a conspicuous, permanent sign with letters at least six inches in height showing the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's business name or assumed name substantially similar to the name reflected on the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's license under which the wholesale motor vehicle dealer conducts business. The sign must be permanently mounted on the business property and shall be on the main door to the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's office or on the outside of the building that houses the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's office. If the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's office is located in an office building with one or more other businesses and an outside sign is not permitted by the landlord, a business sign permanently mounted on or beside the main door to the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's office with letters at least two inches in height is acceptable. A wholesale motor vehicle dealer may use a temporary sign or banner if the wholesale motor vehicle dealer can show proof that a sign that meets the requirements of this paragraph has been ordered.

  (5) Office structure for a retail dealer and a wholesale motor vehicle dealer.

    (A) A dealer's office must be located in a building with connecting exterior walls on all sides.

    (B) A dealer's office must comply with all applicable local zoning ordinances and deed restrictions.

    (C) A dealer's office may not be located within a residence, apartment, hotel, motel, or rooming house.

    (D) The physical address of the dealer's office must be recognized by the U.S. Postal Service or capable of receiving U.S. mail. The department will not mail a license or a metal dealer's license plate to an out of state address.

    (E) A portable-type office structure may qualify as an office only if the structure meets the requirements of this section and is not a readily moveable trailer or other vehicle.

  (6) Required office equipment for a retail dealer and a wholesale motor vehicle dealer. At a minimum, a dealer's office must be equipped with:

    (A) a desk;

    (B) two chairs;

    (C) internet access; and

    (D) a working telephone number listed in the business name or assumed name under which the dealer conducts business.

  (7) Number of retail dealers in one office. Not more than four retail dealers may be located in the same business structure. Each retail dealer located in the same business structure must meet the requirements of this section.

  (8) Number of wholesale motor vehicle dealers in one office. Not more than eight wholesale motor vehicle dealers may be located in the same business structure. Each wholesale dealer located in the same business structure must meet the requirements of this section.

  (9) Office sharing prohibition for retail dealers and wholesale motor vehicle dealers. Unless otherwise authorized by the Transportation Code, a retail dealer and a wholesale motor vehicle dealer licensed after September 1, 1999, may not be located in the same business structure.

  (10) Dealer housed with other business.

    (A) If a person conducts business as a dealer in conjunction with another business owned by the same person and under the same name as the other business, the same telephone number may be used for both businesses. If the name of the dealer differs from the name of the other business, a separate telephone listing and a separate sign for each business is required.

    (B) A person may conduct business as a dealer in conjunction with another business not owned by that person only if the dealer owns the property on which business is conducted or has a separate lease agreement from the owner of that property that meets the requirements of this section. The same telephone number may not be used by both businesses. The dealer must have separate business signs, telephone listings, and office equipment required under this section.

  (11) Display area requirements.

    (A) A wholesale motor vehicle dealer is not required to have display space at the wholesale motor vehicle dealer's business premises.

    (B) A retail dealer must have an area designated as display space for the retail dealer's inventory. A retail dealer's designated display area must comply with the following requirements.

      (i) The display area must be located at the retail dealer's business address or contiguous with the retail dealer's address. A noncontiguous storage lot is permissible only if there is no public access and no sales activity occurs at the storage lot. A sign stating the retail dealer's name, telephone number, and the fact the property is a storage lot is permissible.

      (ii) The display area must be of sufficient size to display at least five vehicles of the type for which the GDN is issued. Those spaces must be reserved exclusively for the retail dealer's inventory and may not be shared or intermingled with another business or a public parking area, a driveway to the office, or another dealer's display area.

      (iii) The display area may not be on a public easement, right-of-way, or driveway unless the governing body having jurisdiction of the easement, right-of-way, or driveway expressly consents in writing to use as a display area. If the easement, right-of-way, or driveway is a part of the state highway system, use as a display area may only be authorized by a lease agreement.

      (iv) If the retail dealer shares a display or parking area with another business, including another dealer, the dealer's vehicle inventory must be separated from the other business's display or parking area by a material object or barrier that cannot be readily removed.

      (v) The display area must be adequately illuminated if the retail dealer is open at night so that a vehicle for sale can be properly inspected by a potential buyer.

      (vi) The display area may be located inside a building.

  (12) Dealers holding a license issued under Occupations Code, Chapter 2302. If a dealer also holds a license issued under Occupations Code, Chapter 2302, each salvage motor vehicle that is offered for sale on the premises of the dealer's display area must be clearly and conspicuously marked with a sign informing a potential buyer that the vehicle is a salvage motor vehicle. This requirement does not apply to a licensed salvage pool operator.

  (13) Lease requirements. If the premises from which a dealer conducts business, including any display area, is not owned by the dealer, the dealer must maintain a lease that is continuous during the period of time for which the dealer's license will be issued. The lease agreement must be on a properly executed form containing at a minimum:

    (A) the name of the landlord as the lessor of the premises and the name of the dealer as the tenant or lessee of the premises;

    (B) the period of time for which the lease is valid;

    (C) the street address or legal description of the property, provided that if only a legal description of the property is included, the applicant must attach a statement that the property description in the lease agreement is the street address identified on the application; and

    (D) the signature of the landlord as the lessor and the signature of the dealer as the tenant or lessee.

  (14) Dealer must display license. A dealer must display the dealer's license issued by the department at all times in a manner that makes the license easily readable by the public and in a conspicuous place at each place of business for which the dealer's license is issued. If the dealer's license applies to more than one location, a copy of the original license may be displayed in each supplemental location.


Source Note: The provisions of this §215.140 adopted to be effective February 11, 2010, 35 TexReg 883; amended to be effective August 2, 2012, 37 TexReg 5637; amended to be effective February 13, 2017, 42 TexReg 571; amended to be effective June 28, 2017, 42 TexReg 3273

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